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Blackbird Population Ana Paula Sanchez Miss. Hart & Miss. Dattilo April 10th 2013 2.

Site 2 had consistently more yellow-headed blackbirds throughout the years 1992 to 1999 than site 1. There are many possible different reasons for the population of yellow-headed blackbirds in Site 2 to be larger than site 1; this is due to the biotic and abiotic factors that influence ecosystems. Site 1s blackbird population could have been affected by a lack of nutrient availability caused by farming practices. For example if the prey of blackbirds; worms cannot absorb enough nutrients from the soil, the worm population will diminish because they cannot obtain the nutrients they need to survive. This would cause a chain reaction that would decrease the blackbird population, and the consumers in higher trophic levels of their food chain to diminish as well. Another possibility is that there are fewer predators that feed on blackbirds than in site 2s ecosystem. If there are fewer predators, there will be more black birds because there are less animals feeding and killing yellow headed blackbirds so more black birds can populate. Thirdly, site 1s population can be lesser than site 2s population is could possibly be the result of small number of yellow-headed blackbirds emigrating from site 1 and immigrated into site 2 for reasons such as more nutrients, less predators, etc. In this process site 1s population would decrease and increase the population of site 2. The main reason why the population of site 1 is lesser than site 2 potentially could be because of the biotic factors, such as predation, and abiotic factors, such as nutrient availability, lessened the ability yellow-headed blackbird to flourish. Combined these factors could have caused the yellow-headed blackbirds to emigrate from site 1.

3. Based on the evidence shown in the table/graph I can hypothesize that the changes in population of the blackbird are influenced by the amount of rainfall it receives. The amount of rainfall an ecosystem receives is considered a density independent factors it because affects a population regardless of population size. In other words, it can be held responsible to the changes in the population of the blackbirds even though the populations of the two different sites are different. Using the data one can determine that as the rain fall increases, the population of yellow-

headed blackbirds increases as well. For example, when only 13 cm of rain fell in 1992, the population of both sites were 24 (site 1) and 28 (site 2), however in 1997 62 cm of rain fell and the population increased 81(site 1) and 158 (site 2). Water availability helps increase population because it allows for more organisms to live in an ecosystem. With an increase of organisms the yellow-headed black bird is able to increase its population because there are more resources for them that they need such as insects and plants to survive. With less water available to their ecosystem, many of the organisms die off, and the blackbirds have less food available that they need to survive so many of the birds die off as well. In conclusion, the changes in population are related to the amount of rainfall because it affects how much water is available to the birds, and the numbers of birds adapt (either increase or decrease) so that the birds can survive on the water that is available to them.